25 February 2018

Kenya: Police Name Man Behind Foiled City Terror Attack

Photo: Nairobi News
A vehicle that was intercepted in Merti, Isiolo County, while transporting five Al-shabaab terrorists. RIGHT: Grenades seized by police during the operation.

Police have identified the leader of a terrorist cell that planned the foiled attack in Nairobi last week.

Mbarak Abdi Huka, 27, was killed in a gun battle with police in Merti, Isiolo on February 15.

Investigations also linked him to controversial radical cleric Sheikh Guyo Gorsa, who is facing terror charges in court.

Police lifted his fingerprints that matched with details at the office of registrar of persons.

Mbarak was born 27 years ago at Mountain area, Saku constituency in Marsabit County. He was the last born in a family of four children.

He attended Sakuu Primary School between 1999 and 2006.

Marsabit Secondary School, where he sat Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam and attained a B- (minus).

Thereafter, he was a part-time teacher at Taqwa Madrasa, which was run by Sheikh Gorsa.

Further investigations show that while at the school, he was introduced to terror fugitive Hassan Jarso kotolla.

MAKING BOMBS

The two later met in Somalia, where he trained in making bombs and paramilitary technics.

Mbarak travelled to Somalia in 2011, but according to his relatives who have been interrogated by police, the man told them he had gone to Mombasa and enrolled at Technical University.

"While in Somalia, the slain Al-Shabaab operative was trained as a foot soldier in Jilib and thereafter settled in Barawe.

He rose through the ranks to command his own sub-unit that would terrorise Kenyans in areas along the Kenya-Somalia border, especially within Lamu County.

"Mbarak's sub-unit was involved in the Lamu-Tana Delta attacks of June 2014 as well as the foiled attack on a KDF base at Baure in Lamu County in June 2015," reads a security situational report seen by the Nation.

It adds: "His death at the hands of Kenyan police officers while attempting his third major attack in the country has been highly celebrated as a major milestone in Kenyan counter-terrorism efforts."

When the Sheikh was arrested on January 17, youths who attended his madrassa burnt a police vehicle and vandalised a church and other business premises in Isiolo town.

KILLED IN CONFRONTATION

Three people were also killed in confrontations with the police.

The report also reveals that police are closing in on people suspected of financing the bloody demonstrations.

Before Mbarak was killed, he was among four accomplices who engaged police in a gunfight. Two of them were arrested while the fourth managed to escape during the incident on February, 15. Others on police watch list are Hareth Hillow, Kusow Yarrow, Mumina Erobe and Abdiwahab Osman.

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